After months of sending out resumes and going to interviews, you’ve finally been presented with a job offer. In your excitement, and possibly out of desperation, you’re thinking about accepting the offer on the spot.
But if you want to make sure that you’re treated fairly by your new employer, then you need to stop and follow a few simple steps.
1. Get It In Writing
A verbal job offer is nice, but it’s only as strong as the paper it’s printed on. If you want to protect yourself, then ask for the job offer in writing. Most companies will send an offer letter to go along with the verbal offer. Wait until you receive the offer in writing before you do anything.
2. Go Over the Written Offer with a Fine-Tooth Comb
During the interview process, you were told that you’d get three weeks of paid vacation in your first year. But when you read the offer letter, you see no mention of paid time off. Your offer letter should include important points such as your position title, your salary, any bonuses you may be entitled to, explicit guidelines on how to achieve those bonuses, benefits, vacation time, sick time, personal time, and your official starting date.
If any of that information is missing or doesn’t match what you were told during the interview process, then have the offer letter updated.
3. Present a Counteroffer
You like the company and you cannot wait to start doing the job, but the salary seems a little low to you. Should you just take the offer and be happy that you’ll have a job?
You were chosen out of all of the potential candidates because the employer feels that you have something special to offer. If you feel that your skills are worth more than what the company is offering, then write up a counteroffer and mail it to the company. Include a sentence asking for a meeting to negotiate the offer and then follow up in a week if you haven’t heard back.
Also, do some research for salary standards in your area. LiveCareer’s salary calculator will help you establish a rate that’s relevant to your job title, location, and experience level.
4. Negotiate Your Final Offer
To be honest, professionals are almost expected to submit a counteroffer and negotiate for a better deal. Negotiating your final offer is where you can show the company how decisive and reasonable you truly are. It also gives you a chance to craft the job offer that you really wanted and go into your new job with a sense of confidence.
5. Send Thank-You Letters
One of the most important (yet forgotten) steps to accepting a job offer is to send a thank-you letter to everyone that you talked to during the interview process. As soon as you sign your offer letter, you should send out cards or hand-written letters that let each person you spoke with know just how much you appreciate the opportunity.
6. Always Check the Final Offer Before Signing It
Here’s a nightmare scenario: the conditions of the original offer letter weren’t included in your employment contract—but you unknowingly signed it anyways. Instead of assuming that the contract’s worded properly, you need to stop and read it before you actually sign it.
Your Job Offer Dictates the Direction of Your Career
The importance of a job offer can never be understated. The final job offer that you and your employer agree to will set the foundation for the next several years of your career. To make sure that you negotiate a fair job offer, use LiveCareer as a reliable resource in your negotiation process.
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